Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Uncritically Spouts Democrat Talking Points on ObamaCare

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Obama — Patterico @ 7:34 am

The latest Democrat talking point is that opposition to ObamaCare is fueled by angry mobs of right-wing extremists. On Tuesday Allahpundit quoted the DNC’s latest missive on the subject. Today, the L.A. Times does its best to peddle that set of talking points, albeit with a shrugging acknowledgement that there might be some actual opposition out there:

Damn Right Wing Mobs

The headline: Healthcare debate gets uglier, with a deck headline reading: “Special interests are accused of organizing disruptive outbursts as Democrats try to answer voter concerns.” See where we’re headed with this?

Here is a quote from the DNC talking points:

The right wing extremists’ use of things like devil horns on pictures of our elected officials, hanging members of Congress in effigy, breathlessly questioning the President’s citizenship and the use of Nazi SS symbols and the like just shows how outside of the mainstream the Republican Party and their allies are.

Note how the opening paragraph of Janet Hook’s piece echoes the concern about effigies:

An effigy of Rep. Frank Kratovil Jr. was hung outside his office on the eastern shore of Maryland. Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin was shouted down by angry constituents. Rep. Timothy H. Bishop of New York had such a raucous experience with critics on Long Island that he avoids town hall meetings for more manageable settings.

Further down, we’re told about the devil’s horns:

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) ran into a group opposed to the Democrats’ healthcare proposals Saturday when he tried to hold a constituent meeting in an Austin grocery store. Protesters surrounded him and followed him into the parking lot, chanting, “Just say no!”

Their signs included one with a picture of Doggett sporting devil’s horns.

“Many of these people were summoned in by the local Republican and Libertarian parties,” Doggett said on MSNBC’s “Hardball With Chris Matthews.” “They didn’t even live in the neighborhood. They were there not just to be heard but to ensure other people weren’t heard on this.”

How does Doggett know this? Did he have staffers interview the people, who all admitted to taking large checks from insurers and hopping on buses from Washington D.C. to Austin? We’re not told. You might think that Hook would, in an aside, remind readers that Doggett provided no evidence for his assertion. Yes, you might think that — if you’re stupid. But if you’re sentient and have read this paper for any period of time, you know that repeating talking points uncritically is Job Number One — and the “busing in protestors” point, along with the effigies and devil’s horns, showed up in that DNC set of talking points:

These mobs are bussed in by well funded, highly organized groups run by Republican operatives and funded by the special interests who are desperately trying to stop the agenda for change the President was elected to bring to Washington.

Reporter Hook oddly echoes this contrast between “change” and “special interests” in her story, telling us Democrats are “trying to show the need for change” but are being opposed by “powerful special interests.” In other quotes I am not making up, Hook says that the debate “has gotten especially ugly,” with the fiercest opposition having been “fanned by talk radio and conservative advocacy groups.” She laments that “critics have been able to demonize provisions that may not be in the final bill.”

You might think that a newspaper article trying to decide whether there is genuine opposition to Obama’s health care proposals might look at objective evidence of public opinion on the matter. But has mankind devised any way to measure such a thing as public opinion?? [Bespectacled man leans over and hands Patterico a torn scrap of paper, which Patterico briefly looks at before resuming.] I’m told there do exist such measures, and they are called “polls.” Does the article tells us what the polling says? Why, yes it does — in paragraph 25 of a 27-paragraph story:

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in late July found that support for Obama’s healthcare plan had dropped: 42% called it a bad idea and 36% said it was a good idea. In mid-June, opinions were about evenly divided.

Ah. So a plurality thinks the health care plan is a bad idea! (And this is consistent (as Karl noted yesterday) with other recent polling data on key elements of the debate.) Yes indeed, let’s bury that as deeply as possible!

The fact is that many Americans want something done. But they are also wary of a government takeover of health care, which is what this is, as you can tell by the fact that Obama repeatedly tells us that it’s not so.

59 Responses to “L.A. Times Uncritically Spouts Democrat Talking Points on ObamaCare”

  1. I say, bring it! I wasn’t going to go to a rally, but now I’m mad and I intend to.

    The Dems are digging themselves into a bottomless pit, where socialism will go to die–or hibernate until another generation of fools tries to hopenchange the greatest nation on earth.

    Patricia (48ec63)

  2. I think the Los Angeles Times is just trying to remind people that, you know, for reals grassroots efforts are beautiful and special and above all should be capable of withstanding the harsh scrutinies of the Justice Department.

    happyfeet (42470c)

  3. “Hoarders and Wreckers” indeed.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  4. Doggett is a particularly unreliable source for recognizing who is and isn’t from his own neighborhood or even his own Congressional district:

    Since he was one of the white male liberal Democrats who had been disproportionately represented in the Texas Congressional delegation since a heavily pro-Democrat gerrymander in the early 1990s, Doggett’s long-time seat and district were targeted by Texas Republicans when the Texas Legislature was finally able to complete the state’s Congressional redistricting for this decade (which the Dems successfully delayed until 2003). With his chances of winning what remained of his district substantially dimmed for 2004, El Patron Lloyd Doggett himself moved into a newly created district — one running from Austin down to the Rio Grande Valley, which had been created with the intention and expectation that it would trend Democrat and Latino. (Such racial discrimination to absolutely protect and maintain a set number of “minority districts” is mandated by the Civil Rights Act of 1965 as currently implemented by the DoJ under both major political parties and as interpreted by the federal courts.)

    Doggett proceeded to annihilate his rival in the Democratic Primary — a Hispanic female who’d been a county office-holder in the Valley — by outspending her by roughly 10 to 1, reflecting his own and the Democratic Party’s true colors when push comes to shove between a jefe grande like Lloyd Doggett and the members of the Latino community who they claim can only be effectively represented by Democrats.

    Beldar (b9d254)

  5. That awful mantra I keep repeating—“...that’s different™….” as the mantra of the Progressive Left—keeps being demonstrated.

    Most of this derives, I think, from elitism and snobbery. They know what is best for us, better than we do!

    But boy howdy do they hate it when someone does that to them!

    Eric Blair (204104)

  6. It’s not a “talking point.” It’s fact.

    David Ehrenstein (2550d9)

  7. Nothing’s more elitist than Republican “Populism.”

    David Ehrenstein (2550d9)

  8. Before one regularly dissembling troll vomits up old, misrepresented poll numbers, let’s just review an up to date poll:

    After 199 days in office, President Barack Obama has a 50 – 42 percent job approval rating from American voters, down from 57 – 33 percent July 2 to its lowest level since Inauguration Day, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Voters disapprove 49 – 45 percent of the way the President is handling the economy and disapprove 52 – 39 percent of the way he is handling health care, but approve 52 – 38 percent of the way he is handling foreign policy.

    Now, to be fair, Obama is running ahead of Republicans in overall approval, but the gap is shrinking and it pretty much highlights the growing feeling among voters that no one in DC is doing the job right.

    American voters disapprove 59 – 29 percent of the way Republicans in Congress are doing their job and trust Obama more than these Republicans 47 – 36 percent to fix the economy and 46 – 37 percent to handle health care.

    These numbers and trends are backed up by Rasmussen, Gallup and several other polls. None of this makes a difference to the boot lickers at the LA Times or most other MSM outlets who are more than pleased to swallow whole the DNC talking points. The narrative must be maintained at all costs, regardless of those inconvenient facts.

    Sorry, I have to go and press my polyester pinstriped swastikas now.

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  9. On getting motivated to go to a town hall–my Congressman is Adam Schiff D-California Nancy Pelosi poodle 97.4%. He’s holding a town hall in Alhambra next Tuesday night. I’d sent him an e-mail with my views, but was not going to go to the townhall, since I have another meeting. He certainly doesn’t care what I have to say. But Nancy Pelosi came out last night and said that “protesters are carrying swastikas to town halls”. That little piece of rubbish (I’m talking about her statement, not about her, although as I typed the phrase I realized it could apply to her as well) did it. I’m going to the town hall and ditch the other meeting.

    The Iowahawk blog has an interesting post today. Pelosi and others supporting Obamacare claim that “outside agitators” are being brought in to these town hall meetings, in contrast to the “spontaneous protests” in favor of various Obama initiatives. If you look at the photos of the ACORN and HCAN protests, you’ll see color coordinated T-shirts (I got on the bus to go to the protest and all I got was this lousy T-shirt from ACORN) and nicely and professionally printed signs–easy for the television cameras to read.
    On the other hand at tea parties and health care townhalls, there’s not a color matched T-shirt in the room, and the signs are obviously home made and hand printed by people who don’t draw too well. Most of them can spell though.

    I think the Obama crowd has a tiger by the tail in this health care debate.

    Mike Myers (674050)

  10. Around here the town halls have been packed with nutroots pissed off at Sen. Baucus for not carrying a single-payer bill. The conservative opposition is only now getting mobilized, so now we’re crashing the party.

    cassandra in MT (5a5d33)

  11. Boy they sure don’t like the proles getting uppity.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  12. Just curious: you don’t get all ticked off when the DNC or Kos or TPM ‘uncritically spouts Democrat talking points’; they’re all mouthpieces for the liberals, so their pushing a liberal agenda is as natural as a dog chasing a car.

    So why get riled up when the LAT does the same? Don’t you consider them just another mouthpiece for liberals? Aren’t they just doing what comes naturally? Isn’t it a waste of time, trying to get a liberal to not spout Democrat talking points? Isn’t it akin to trying to repeal the laws of nature?

    And just as the readers of Kos and the email list of the DNC are full of true believers – they’re just engaging in what might call patting each other on the back – and thus not doing much to sway non-believers, isn’t the LAT in the same boat; with its readership being down the left, it’s not as if their commentary, I mean ‘news’ is actually changing anybody’s mind, is it?

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  13. So why get riled up when the LAT does the same? Don’t you consider them just another mouthpiece for liberals? Aren’t they just doing what comes naturally? Isn’t it a waste of time, trying to get a liberal to not spout Democrat talking points? Isn’t it akin to trying to repeal the laws of nature?

    I agree but not everyone has the privilege of living within thew sound of the LA Times. It’s useful to have someone like Patterico read the Times so I don’t have to.

    Mike K (addb13)

  14. They are not even trying to hide their mendacity any longer. They are not even subtle about it any longer.

    JD (1517ae)

  15. “…Most of them can spell though…”

    Which is why ACORN, SEIU, etc, has to have professionally prepared signs,
    since (as we have seen innumerable times on this blog) the Lefties seem to be incapable
    (incapable: their middle name) of correct spelling and syntax.

    AD - RtR/OS! (17ce54)

  16. It’s useful to have someone like Patterico read the Times so I don’t have to.

    And if neither of you did, what would you really be missing?

    Look at it from this perspective: with circulation down and staff cuts, the liberals at the LAT don’t have a lot going for them. Preaching to the choir – and no one else – can’t be that much fun; at the very least, they know they’re not fulfilling their self-designated role to ‘educate’ and ‘inform’ the general public… and that eats at their very soul. While elitists, such as those who populate the MSM, don’t think much of common folk, at least when it comes to them telling us what is good for us, they need us to look up to them and admire them and reward them with viewership and readership.

    Than along comes Patterico with his complaints.. giving the LAT the satisfaction of knowing, that even with so much else going against them, they can still piss off the conservatives. Granted, that ain’t going to pay the bills, but it is a victory nonetheless. Patterico would hurt them more by ignoring them altogether.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  17. Most Republicans are loath to admit that the RNC would have trouble organizing a barbeque, so what makes anyone think that they could herd a mob of cats.

    Neo (46a1a2)

  18. Now Pelosi is saying there are swastikas at the rallies.

    The dems are really stepping on it now; they have fired up a lot of people, including me, who would never have bothered speaking out.

    Now I am going to write the Times, and my congressman (Elton Gallegly) and try to look for a rally close by.

    Gotta hand it to ’em: they own the gummint but still are f****ng it up.

    kinlaw (648207)

  19. Email the Whitehouse with “fishy” grumblings!!!

    Send emails to:

    Here’s the one I sent them:

    “Yes, I wanted to report some fishy grumblings I heard last night regarding President Obsama’s, I mean Obama’s, Socialist Health Care Takover. You see, last night I was sitting on my porch when my dog, Taffy, growled at something. I’m pretty sure she was growling something “fishy” about the Socialized Medical Plan President Obsama — there I go again, I mean Obama, is trying to force feed down the American citizen’s throats. So being a good citizen and all I thought I should report her. Do I get a reward? Can I wear a fancy Uniform? Oh, just thinking of how great President Obama is, I think I just orgasmed! Maybe I should join Chris Matthews on MSNBC. What do you think? Anyway, I’ll be sure to keep my eyes and ears open for any additional “fishy” grumblings or rumblings I hear about the Socialist takeover of the greatest medical system the world have ever seen, ever, in the whole bloody history of the whole bloody world. Remember now, WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. Have an ice day!

    J. Raymond Wright (d83ab3)

  20. “12.Boy they sure don’t like the proles getting uppity”

    What “proles”? Morbidly obese sock puppets with scripts straight from the RNC playbook.

    David Ehrenstein (2550d9)

  21. Comment by J. Raymond Wright — 8/6/2009 @ 9:26 am

    Subversive, counter-revolutionary thought will not be tolerated.
    Time for your “mental evaluation”.

    AD - RtR/OS! (17ce54)

  22. The lefty blogs are really hysterical. Note the nonsense about Democrats being attacked by mobs.

    Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.), president of the freshman Democratic class, warned that right-wing groups are taking things to “a dangerous level” by manufacturing anger based on false information.

    “When you look at the fervor of some of these people who are all being whipped up by the right-wing talking heads on Fox, to me, you’re crossing a line,” Connolly said. “They’re inciting people to riot with just total distortions of facts. They think we’re going to euthanize Grandma and the government is going to take over.” […]

    Connolly said he spoke to at least one freshman Democrat who was physically assaulted at a local event. [emphasis added]

    Now, I haven’t seen any reports as to who this Democratic lawmaker is, or whether the run-in was filmed or photographed. For that matter, we don’t know just how serious the confrontation was — there’s a qualitative difference between a shoulder-check in a hallway and taking a swing at someone — or whether it prompted a police report.

    I swear; if I thought the Republicans were smart enough, I would think this was a “rope-a-dope” strategy.

    Mike K (addb13)

  23. Every single person that trots out that utter dishonesty should be called on it. I want to see names, locations, details, police reports, etc … If a Congresscritter was attacked, all of the above should be readily available.

    JD (593b0c)

  24. Today, the L.A. Times does its best to peddle that set of talking point

    Oh, hell, give Janet Hook and her employer a break! After all, they’re like the family with an upside-down mortgage, a lot of unpaid bills and creditors banging at the front door.

    The way economic models are evolving (or devolving) for the newspaper industry, Janet and the place she works at may end up in the unemployment line. So the need in their eyes to mooch off the system with ObamaCare is probably deemed a very necessary first-step in their future.

    Mark (411533)

  25. So, now, community organizing is a bad thing?!

    Did the LA Times article mention that new meme that a Dem. congresscritter was assaulted?

    JD (4217af)

  26. “I think they are Astroturf … you be the judge. They’re carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on health care.” — Pelosi

    Wesson (03286d)

  27. Wesson – That is truly remarkable. Given all of the staff and security at these things, you would think that there would be a picture. And why would a paid group of astroturfers seek to discredit themselves?

    JD (72046a)

  28. I wonder how happyfeet would hold up under DOJ scrutiny under a radical, and as extreme as the Obama admin., right wing admin? I don’t think hf wants to go there, but is more than willing to persecute those it disagrees with.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  29. PCD – Who did happyfeet suggest be persecuted?

    JD (28e6e6)

  30. I love the ‘they must be astroturf because they’ve got swastikas’ claim Pelosi makes. It’s grasping so aimlessly. It’s the exact opposite claim to the polished brooks brothers approach. Unless Stormfront has an HMO, swastikas are the last thing you’d see at a professionally planned event.

    Oh, and there’s the little detail that no one brought swastikas, and if they did it would be plastered all over the TVs and papers specifically because it’s so bad for the Tea Party image.

    There may be a huge uniform effort to scream and shout this attack at the tea party folks, but it’s just not working.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  31. The White House has asked Americans to report any “fishy” comments about the Obamacare efforts. It is time we Patterico fans do something about it.

    I propose we report ourselves to the White House. Yes Mr. Obama, I said, “If you liked Shindler’s List,” you’ll love Obamacare.”

    Report yourself to:

    Alta Bob (3dd3fe)

  32. The true sign of desperation is calling your opponents racists and Nazis when you have no sources to back up your wild accusations – they’ve quickly crossed that Rubicon, so we now have definitive proof that the panic is widespread among the Dems and Obama’s minions.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  33. I for one am looking forward to the progressive overlords taking so many difficult decisions regarding my health care out of my hands.

    Is there any truth to the rumor that I will have to opportunity to sit down with them every five years to review my end-of-life options?

    quasimodo (4af144)

  34. kavorkiancare

    quasimodo (4af144)

  35. […] Opposition to ObamaCare is fueled by angry mobs of right-wing extremists — L.A. Times […] » Watch as Socialism becomes Communism (2d38c8)

  36. “…love the ‘they must be astroturf because they’ve got swastikas’ claim Pelosi makes…”

    This from the same “Best & Brightest” that advocated the use of Natural Gas to get us away from the dependence on fossile fuels.

    AD - RtR/OS! (17ce54)

  37. The sad part is, so many in the MSM are saying the same thing about astroturf, nazis, and mobs that it appears real. I’ve read feedback on other sites that reflect those views. Many people generally believe what they see in the press or on t.v. And truth be told, there are right-wing nut jobs that get air time. Enough so to use as examples as needed.

    Many townhall meetings will get the same coverage (and commentary) as the Tea Party events.

    The MSM have too much invested to pull out now.

    And sadly, growing anger on the right will trigger some explosive backlash at some events. These may lead to a greater divide or worse.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  38. The Dems approach to people that disagree with them? Hire actual astroturfers and union thugs, and Axelrod was hailed as the king of astroturfing, yet now, community organizing is a pernicious evil?

    JD (979402)

  39. “And sadly, growing anger on the right will trigger some explosive backlash at some events. These may lead to a greater divide or worse.’


    David Ehrenstein (2550d9)

  40. Corwin – These may lead to a greater divide or worse.

    Much worse.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  41. Obviously, these claims of “astroturfing” are nothing more than a diversionary tactic employed by the Dems and their minions in the MSM.

    Instead of debating the pros and cons of the proposed Democratic health care legislation, the Dems and the MSM want to direct the conversation to something else, i.e., those treacherous Republicans who will stop at nothing to hurt children, the elderly, etc.

    Along those lines, while channel-surfing last night, I stumbled across a CNN report that ended with the talking head announcing that Democratic accusations of astroturfing by Republicans “can be neither confirmed nor refuted”.

    Bubba Maximus (456175)

  42. And why would a paid group of astroturfers seek to discredit themselves? [by wearing swastikas]

    I think Pelosi’s view of middle America is so out of whack she thinks wearing swastikas appeals to conservatives.

    bonhomme (8b73ba)

  43. If we end up seeing a picture of someone with a swastika, it will prove . . . what?

    That someone had a swastika.

    We won’t know who, or why.

    I wouldn’t put it past the left to plant someone in one of these crowds with Nazi imagery.

    Even if some lone crackpot somewhere were to bring Nazi imagery, that would prove that they were representative of Republicans . . . how?

    Patterico (29d4ed)

  44. “Even if some lone crackpot somewhere were to bring Nazi imagery, that would prove that they were representative of Republicans . . . how?”


    Corwin (ea9428)

  45. @#$ hot keys…

    By being there, was what I meant to say.

    The MSM will use whatever imagery they need to ‘prove’ their point. Not to report.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  46. Why are the same dirty socialists what just gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jew-hating bigot Mary Robinson getting all sensitive about swastikas all of a sudden? You really need a scorecard to keep up with these ones.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  47. Meanwhile, the Left wing blogs are manufacturing evidence on their accusations.

    Much as we saw the trolls in here try to do earlier.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  48. […] nothing organized about it, or at least no more so than “objective” journalists recycling Democratic talking points about mobs by the dozen. Seriously, am I missing something here or have we now reached the point […]

    Hot Air » Blog Archive » Harry Reid: Conservative talk radio hosts are also astroturfers (e2f069)

  49. Genius…

    Harry Reid: Conservative talk radio hosts are also astroturfers
    Help me figure this out. The whole point of “astroturfing” is to generate fake
    grassroots activity, right? That’s where the name comes from: Astroturf
    is a type of……

    Always To The Right (5815fb)

  50. #6

    Great post. Also kudos to kavorikiancare.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  51. My favorite response so far was the African American lady in the front row of the Hoyer video up on Hot Air…. when Hoyer goes Joe Biden and meanders off into the year 1825 and off onto the Erie Canal late in the video, you can hear her say… “the Erie Canal?…” She was well mannered enough not to add the “wtf does Erie Canal have to do with healthcare?”.

    Honestly now, who passes off a non sequiteur like the Erie Canal but an idiot or a liar?
    If I’m Patterico’s star witness and the defense asks me a pointed question that I avoid answering by using my genius and saying “What about the Erie Canal!!!” I think he’d find some way to kick my butt.

    I also liked the guy who noted that it took longer for Obama to pick out a dog than he takes to ram through these bills.

    That is Hoyer’s cue for “Erie Canal!”

    If I ever have to testify before Congress I’m gonna just repeat “Erie Canal” until they let me leave or throw me in jail.

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  52. I really do think agent provocateurs will infiltrate the rallies and attempt to seize the narrative.

    It’s the fundamental nature of a Moby. Wait for it, cause it’s going to happen.

    Techie (482700)

  53. That’s nothing. Boston Globe headline is: Foes’ decibels replace debate on healthcare. There’s also a photo gallery on How to disrupt a town hall meeting. I don’t think I would mind all this so much if it weren’t for the baseline assumption that townhall-style meetings (that always gets me: style) aren’t already staged.

    [note: fished from moderation, probably there due to links. Sorry it was missed earlier.]

    sierra (4be1ff)

  54. The true sign of desperation is calling your opponents racists and Nazis when you have no sources to back up your wild accusations – they’ve quickly crossed that Rubicon, so we now have definitive proof that the panic is widespread among the Dems and Obama’s minions.

    If the stakes weren’t so high, this would be laughable as their desperation is so painfully obvious.

    Dana (57e332)

  55. I’m sure the word “mob” tested off the charts for them in focus groups.

    Hey, help me out here with a couple things. In political protocol is busing in Republican “protesters” from local senior citizen communities considered worse than busing in Democratic “voters” from another state?

    Also, does anyone know if Axelrod has copyrighted the word “astroturfing”? And is he getting like 25 cents or something each time they dupe the media into using it?

    Finally, if the president’s national poll numbers running against his health care ideas continue to rise from current levels, are we then duty bound to locate and bus in even more anti government health care protesters just to keep the symmetry right? (That could be a lot of work.)

    Elizabeth (9922d3)

  56. […] every Democrat talking point you’ve read about in the last day or two, come to life in an ugly […]

    Angry Mob of Racist Extremists Beats Black Man at Town Hall Meeting #tcot #fb « Kelly R. Conaty MD, MBA (69d1bf)

  57. […] every Democrat talking point you’ve read about in the last day or two, come to life in an ugly […]


  58. Hi, I added you onto my blog. I hope it is all done right. Sad times.
    Shalom, and God Bless.
    The Mad Jewess

    The Mad Jewess (996c34)

  59. […] paper uncritically reported that opposition to Obama’s health care plan was fueled by angry mobs of right-wing extremists. Typical of editors’ attitude was this strawman from a front-page “news analysis” […]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2009 (e4ab32)

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